A pub with no pokies

Paul White will be bringing live music and good food to the former St Agatha's Church in Cranbourne. 168730 Picture: VICTORIA STONE-MEADOWS

By Victoria Stone-Meadows

A new pub is coming to Cranbourne that will foster independent live music, offer exciting food and drink and shun poker machines.
Paul White is the man behind the church conversion at 150-156 South Gippsland Highway and he has a vision of bringing something new to Cranbourne.
“We are going through the last processes now and we identified Cranbourne as the ideal location because the existing market at the moment is just gaming driven,” Mr White said.
“We are very anti-pokies, we’re not into that side of stuff.”
Mr White has 25 years’ experience in the pub business, bringing energy to his venues that have made them successful in tourist hot spots such as Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain and the Mornington Peninsula.
His pubs have a reputation for supporting independent Australian music and bringing people together to enjoy great food and drinks.
“The type of music we love is live independent music so we are after more people with their own material rather than banging out pub anthems on a Friday and Saturday,” he said.
“Our ethos is that food and music bring people together so we are going to have a modern fusion Australian menu with an extensive gourmet pizza selection and we will have over 20 beers, ginger beers and ciders on tap.”
The new pub in Cranbourne – named The Amazing Grace – will give local musicians and independent artists a chance to perform their own material.
“Local bands and artists will be able to showcase themselves as we will be having one night during the week specifically about local artists,” Mr White said.
The former church opposite Cranbourne Park Shopping Centre that will house the new pub and music venue is undergoing renovations including sound-proofing and an extension.
While the renovations will continue until the old church is just right, Mr White is confident the new venue will be up and running by September.
“The closer the time gets to opening we can expand a bit more on exactly what we can and can’t offer,” he said.
“However, what we want to do is bring a diverse range of products from craft beers and spirits, to cocktails and a different range of stuff that hasn’t entered the Cranbourne market.
“Something new but with and old school feel.”